Well, if you live in a town or village chances are you have some kind of town or village festival, at least once a year. The Gala is a bit like one of those only over the past 50 years it has expanded.
Back in 1969 the late Brian Falkner, then Prime Minister of Northern Ireland, was encouraging local Towns and Villages to set up festivals, within their areas, to help foster community relations. So Portaferry Festival was born in combination with the Portaferry Development Association. The majority of events in the Gala are free to the public and thousands of visitors flock to the Gala each year from around the Borough.
The Gala events are mainly funded by sponsorship from the Towns local business community, with other income from community grants and the local council. The Gala Committee consists of volunteers who work throughout the year organizing and coordinating the festival events.
Originally taking place during the traditional holiday period in Northern Ireland (generally the 2 or 3rd week of July) in recent years the Gala Committee have staged various Gala events at other times of the year such as Halloween and Christmas and the Festival in July, has it’s own radio station ferry fm, which broadcasts “Gala News and Great Music” thoughout the week. Ferry FM is available in Portaferry and Strangford on 107.2 FM and around the world online.